IRVING, Texas -- Men's basketball senior Seth Gearhart has been named Rice's Conference USA Spirit of Service Award winner for winter sports, the league office announced on Wednesday. The award recognizes the community service efforts and all-around success of student-athletes.
Gearhart said, "I think the award is really a reflection of our basketball program because everything that I've done as far as community service, we have done as a team. The success we had on the basketball court led to any personal success that I had as well as the academic achievements. That's just a big thing in our program -- staying on top of our academics from study hall to coaches checking up on us weekly. That's just a reflection of our program, so it's cool that I can get recognized because it says a lot about our team as a whole."
Gearhart has volunteered his time serving in a soup kitchen, reading and tutoring at local elementary schools, working with the Houston Food Bank as well as serving with his teammates in other community service activities, such as the recent Shopping with the Owls. On campus, he has served as a Peer Academic Advisor and completed the athletic department's leadership program while being involved with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
In the classroom, the Wilsonville, Ore. native has earned numerous honors as an Economics major with a minor in Business. He has twice been named a Rice Honor Athlete and has been named to the Conference USA Commissioner's Honor Roll each year. He was also a member of the 2014 NABC Honors Court and the 2013 and 2015 C-USA All-Academic Teams. He was one of 30 national men's basketball candidates for the Senior CLASS Award this season as well.
On the court, Gearhart led the Owls and ranked seventh in C-USA with 15.3 points per game en route to earning second team all-Conference USA honors this season. He also ranked fifth in free-throw percentage (81.6), sixth in three-pointers (2.16 per game) and eighth in three-point percentage (39.9). He notched a career-high 31 points in the win at WKU and topped it a week later with 32 points in the Owls' win over UAB.
Rice soccer player Gabriela Iribarne earned the honor for fall sports.
Complete List of Winter Spirit of Service Winners
Erin Crissman, Charlotte, Women's Track & Field
Ally Mayhew, FIU, Women's Swimming & Diving
Ali Gorrell, Florida Atlantic, Women's Basketball
Kenneth "Speedy" Smith, Louisiana Tech, Men's Basketball
Austin Loop, Marshall, Men's Basketball
Jacquez Rozier, Middle Tennessee, Men's Basketball
Kedron Sowells, North Texas, Men's Track & Field
Ashley Betz-White, Old Dominion, Women's Basketball
Seth Gearhart, Rice, Men's Basketball
Christopher Monroe, Southern Miss, Men's Track & Field
Renay Ransaw, UAB, Women's Track & Field
Elphas Maiyo, UTEP, Men's Track & Field
Niaga Mitchell-Cole, UTSA Women's Basketball
Katie Lever, WKU, Women's Track & Field